In recent years, buying things online has become the new norm. Online shopping is considered the better alternative, with more and more people now preferring to get their things delivered at their very doorstep. It is no wonder then, that starting an e-commerce business is one of the best business ideas you can venture into in this era.
However, simply starting an online business won’t guarantee you results; you will need to put in extra effort for more traffic into your site. And one way you can ensure increased traffic and revenue for your business is by optimizing your website, such that it offers the best service to your customers. After all, your website is the main source of conversions and the touchpoint in your clients’ journeys.
The very first step to optimizing your website is carrying out an e-commerce SEO audit. This audit process mainly works to evaluate the current health and performance of your website. It identifies any SEO issues that could negatively impact your business, provides suggestions on how to improve the performance and offers guidance on how to increase website visibility and organic traffic.
Considering the great importance of website optimization, it is important that you perform e-commerce SEO audits on a regular basis. It is recommended that you hire companies that specialize in offering e-commerce SEO services, since these have the knowledge and expertise to offer you ideal results.
However, if you like, you can still perform the auditing yourself. To carry out an effective auditing process, you should check all the three areas outlined below:
A. On-Page Analysis
B. Off-Page Analysis
C. Technical SEO
A. On-Page Analysis
On-page analysis involves all the optimizations performed on the website to improve its ranking on search engines. An effective on-page analysis should include the following three strategies:
- Evaluate your keyword usage– Keywords are the main things that lead your website to appear in search results. Therefore, you need to audit your website pages regularly and ensure that you use the right keywords, in the right places, and at an adequate number of times. You can also use tools, such as Google Search Console, to identify those pages that rank poorly in search results, then optimize the keywords for these pages.
- Evaluate your content strategy – You can compare your on-page content strategy with that of your competitors, then use this information to provide valuable information to your audience.
- Analyze your meta descriptions and title tags– Meta descriptions and title tags are the very first thing that visitors see in search results. Hence, you should evaluate these and ensure that they are compelling enough to draw more people into your web pages.
B. Off-Page Analysis
Off-page SEO analysis involves evaluating factors that are not on the page, but still have a significant impact on the website’s ranking. These factors cannot be changed directly. To conduct an off-page ecommerce SEO audit, you will need to carry out two main activities:
- Analyze your social profiles – Sharing your website pages on social media accounts can help to boost more traffic and links to your page. Therefore, it is a good idea to regularly analyze your social media profiles and share as many links to your product pages as possible.
- Evaluate backlinks – Simply put, backlinks are the link sent to your website from other sites. Not only do they improve your ranking in search results, but they also build more trust for your website, especially when they come from trustworthy websites. To check for your website’s backlinks, use tools such as the Ahrefs backlink checker. If you find any bad backlinks, simply ask the people or companies who linked to you to remove them. Similarly, if you find any good backlinks, reach out to these people and invite them to visit and like more of your pages.
C. Technical SEO
If you own an e-commerce site, you most probably have dozens of website pages for showcasing your content, products, etc. Therefore, you can expect to experience some technical issues one in a while, in turn calling for technical SEO auditing.
Technical SEO is just as important as other aspects of e-commerce SEO audits. It affects how the different search engines find your website’s pages, as well as how your website performs. To evaluate your website’s technical aspects and ensure its proper functionality, follow this recommended checklist:
- Evaluate the site’s mobile-friendliness– A good website is one that works well on all types of devices, including laptops, tablets and even mobile phones. Otherwise, if you don’t offer great mobile experience, most users will bounce from your site and opt for your competitors. The Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test tool can help you determine if your website loads well on mobile phones.
- Evaluate your site’s XML sitemap and robots.txt– XML sitemap is a file that directs Google on the right pages to evaluate. It also guides the search engine to index the more important website pages. On the other hand, robots.txt is a file that directs Google on which pages should or shouldn’t be crawled; this ensures that the site does not get overloaded. You should ensure that your website has both XML sitemap and robots.txt for optimal performance of the technical aspect.
- Offer adequate e-commerce site security – Before ordering any products from your website, your clients will undoubtedly have to input their personal information. However, if your site does not guarantee enough security, some customers may hold back from making orders, in turn leading to loss of revenue for your business. Hence, if your site is not already secure, purchase a SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate to ensure that all your customers’ data is well protected.
- Evaluate your page load time – Websites that load pages slowly are a big turnoff to users. Therefore, if you are looking to gain more traffic to your site, ensure that you deliver a fast website. You can use tools, such as the Google Pagespeed Insights to evaluate how fast your site loads pages and see areas that need improvement.
Without question, regular e-commerce SEO audits are a compulsory marketing strategy for every online business. And if you are planning to carry out an auditing process soon, follow the above-recommended checklist to ensure that you get the best and most effective results. Better yet, consult with professionals who offer bespoke web development and e-commerce SEO services, and let them provide you with the best e-commerce SEO services.